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  • By Tammy Tillotson
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Review of Midnight Flower by Shirley Mandel" In Mandel’s first collection of poetry her struggles to overcome a mental disability and life circumstances are beautifully, humorously, wittingly, and quite significantly evident on each page of the slim 64 page book. In simple, poignant, down-to-earth terms, Mandel confronts the realism of every day problems, thoughts, and wonderings through the perspective of someone with first hand knowledge of how it feels to be different if not unfairly cast out in today’s society. Mandel’s refuge in Christ is prominently displayed throughout the collection and is intuitively found on the cover design, which is a photograph of an old slightly rusted watering can, alone, in the middle of an array of brightly colored flowers. The cover design seems to echo the sentiments of the poem Containers, as no matter what type of container a person uses to catch the rain of Jesus, Mandel’s message encourages the reader to use something. In the hustle... More > and bustle of today’s world, too many times we seek out the lovely flowers without giving a passing glance to the rusted watering cans that are wonderfully special and truly remarkable. Mandel’s collection is definitely a humbling read. Mandel’s casual language creates moving imagery in an honest, sincere, fun, and at times quirky fashion as she finds, confronts, and talks to God. Mandel describes and discovers Christian symbolism and faith in both ordinary and extraordinary places and objects. Whether Mandel is pointing out a parallel between God’s creation of man and the crucifixion in Double Love, or figuratively and quite literally comparing Lucifer to a turkey strutting his stuff in The Turkey, her poems are simple delights. More than a few of her poems read like prayers straight from a candid, yet eloquent soul. In Song of God, Mandel describes birds as a “choir of God’s meekest children,” and then in The Sparrow she compares herself to a commonplace “fat, little bird.” However, Mandel is far from ordinary. God has gifted her with a true song that she sings from her heart. In a world where a great deal of emphasis is placed on glamour and bling bling, Mandel’s simple sincerity is refreshing. My favorite poem in Mandel’s book is The Shopping Spree. Though the shortest poem in the entire book, it’s amazing how 20 simple words can contain such a huge message. I don’t know if it’s due to our culture of overabundance, or because I do most of the shopping and the prices of groceries keep skyrocketing, but for multiple reasons this poem made me joyfully laugh aloud. The book is definitely worth buying if only to read this one quippy little poem. For Mandel, this anthology is fulfillment of her dream to publish a book. She continues to share and minister with others as she has graciously donated copies of her book to multiple psychiatric facilities, and would one day love to have a copy of it in every psychiatric facility in the United States. Mandel earned two Bachelor of Art degrees, one in English and one in Journalism, from Averett University. She has also won several poetry awards of excellence from Averett University. Mandel frequently attends the monthly meetings of the Writers Studio in South Boston, Virginia and she is a recent contributor on Associated Content.< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9781430322580
Publisher
shirley_mandel
Published
August 3, 2007
Language
English
Pages
63
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.31 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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